With the January 10th trade deadline now come and gone, SJHL teams are in the stretch run and it will be a battle in both conferences for first place and playoff spots.
The Kindersley Klippers, Melfort Mustangs and La Ronge Ice Wolves are teams that are being talked about as Credit Union Cup winners and all three teams have been hot of late as all three are 8-2 in their last 10 games. It was to some a finals preview at the Northern Lights Palace on Friday night and the two teams did not disappoint with the hometown Mustangs pulling out a 4-3 victory.
As for the Ice Wolves, they continue to roll and one of the big reasons for the season they are having is the play of 20 year old Travis Eggum. The Saskatoon native has been on fire all season long and he is coming close to doing something that hasn’t been done in the SJHL in over a decade and that is score 50 goals. Eggum goes into games this week having scored 42 times as he is averaging just under a goal a game with 15 games to play.
The Klippers fine play of late combined with a slump by the Yorkton Terriers have all of a sudden made it a race for first in the Sherwood Conference. Yorkton broke a seven game winless streak with a pair of wins over Flin Flon on the weekend, but that streak combined with the fine play of the Klippers means Kindersley is just six points back. Weyburn is also trying to make it a three way race as they have 15 out of a possible 20 points in their last 10 games to sit just eight back of the Terriers.
SHERWOOD PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Braeden Adamyk-Kindersley Klippers - The Klippers are trying to catch Yorkton for 1st place in the Sherwood Conference. They have been a different hockey team since Rockie Zinger took over behind the bench and several players have turned it up a notch since that happened. One of those players is the 1990 born forward from Neepawa, Manitoba. Adamyk had a big week for the Klippers as he had 10 points in four games this week on three goals and seven assists. Two of the four games saw Adamyk have four point nights.
SHERWOOD DEFENCEMAN OF THE WEEK
Blaine Tendler – Yorkton Terriers – The Terriers got back on the winning side of things after enduring a seven game winless slide. When some leadership was needed, the team looked to one of its key veterams to help get them out of their losing skid. The 20 year old Viceroy product came up big in back to back wins over Flin Flon over the weekend while providing some solid minutes and play for Trent Cassan’s group
SHERWOOD GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Russell Abbott-Notre Dame Hounds – Things haven’t gone right in Notre Dame this year and they have had a lot of problems. One problem they haven’t had is the play of Russell Abbott. The 19 year old from Mill Bay, BC was in net for three of four Notre Dame games this week and he won two of them including a 6-0 win over Nipawin which was his 2nd shutout of the season. The Hounds have struggled this year, but if Abbott returns as a 20 next year, the team will be in great shape when it comes to that part of the game.
1. MELFORT MUSTANGS – Darrell Mann’s team seems to have everything they need for a championship. The additions of Brayden Metz and Cody Hanson from Melville have paid early dividends. They are playing the best out of all 12 teams at this time.
2. LA RONGE ICE WOLVES – Not much separates the Ice Wolves from the Mustangs right now, all eyes will be on Travis Eggum to see if he can hit 50 goals and if Eggum, Doug Lindensmith and Marc Andre-Carre will be 1-2-3 in league scoring. Don’t bet against either
3. KINDERSLEY KLIPPERS – Nine of their last 14 are on home ice so this team barring something unforeseen will battle Yorkton right to the wire for first in the Sherwood
4. YORKTON TERRIERS – The additions of Buzzeo, Boyer and Remenda might make Yorkton the best team on paper, but that lineup needs to produce “W”’s. Back to back wins over Flin Flon may have been the start.
5. ESTEVAN BRUINS - The Bruins had a slow start under new coach Chad Leslie, but a two game winning streak has shown that maybe like in Kindersley, change is good.
6. BATTLEFORDS STARS – The Stars were supposed to challenge for a Bauer Conference title, but they got off to a slow start. They have slowly and quietly moved up the ladder to 3rd though. Can they get any higher
7. WEYBURN RED WINGS – Dwight McMillan’s squad is always ready for a strong finishing kick. If Kindersley and Yorkton think its going to be a two man race down the stretch, they might want to think again
8. HUMBOLDT BRONCOS – Next year has arrived for Dean Brockman’s squad. Remaining vets are not only playing out the rest of this year but auditioning for next when the pressure is a little greater
9. MELVILLE MILLIONAIRES – Millionaires fans have to go through the rest of this season without Brayden Metz and Cody Hanson, but a new rink isn’t the only thing they should look forward to. A lot of guys are getting needed minutes down the stretch that will prove to be very beneficial next year
10. FLIN FLON BOMBERS – A loss to Kindersley at the Showcase ended up seeing the carpet get pulled from underneath this team. They haven’t been the same since that game
11. NOTRE DAME HOUNDS – A playoff spot may be unlikely this year, but there are some building blocks to work with for next. This team has some talent, it just needed a year of experience at this level for some players to see what its all about
12. NIPAWIN HAWKS – The Hawks looked like they were ready to make a last minute push for the playoffs, but trading Ceci, Spafford and Remenda and then losing four straight may have been a sign that the white flag is up for this year.